Maine's Path to Recovery
The $4.5 billion investment in Maine from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) is an unprecedented opportunity to support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, to improve the lives and livelihoods of Maine people, to make investments in solving Maine’s long-term challenges, to develop strategies for new opportunities, and to strengthen our state for years to come.
Of this $4.5 billion, Congress has dedicated nearly $3.5 billion to recovery efforts like bolstering public health, including COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, enhanced unemployment benefits, stimulus payments to families, business supports, and more.
The remaining $1.13 billion is allocated to the State to be used at the discretion of the Governor and Legislature to respond to the pandemic and support economic recovery.
Below are programs that will focus on the short-term recovery and long term growth of Maine’s economy. As updates to grant programs are available this site will be updated.
- GRANT PROGRAMS
The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development is managing several economic recovery grant programs using Federal relief funding. As additional funds become available, they will be added to this page, so check back often.
Technology R&D and Innovation Financing
The MTI PRIME Fund (Pandemic Recovery for an Innovative Maine Economy) will deploy $25M in the first year and $14M in the second year. PRIME funding is designed for companies that are connected to one of Maine’s seven targeted technology sectors.
Awards will be based on a competitive process and must be matched by the company on a 1:1 basis. Federal guidelines require funds be targeted to those companies adversely impacted by the pandemic. This program is open for applications through midnight on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
For more information, visit https://www.mainetechnology.org/recovery-funding/prime-fund/
Economic Recovery Grants
This program provides funding for additional economic recovery grants for businesses and organizations struggling to recover from economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant program is funded through a $20 million allocation by the federal government. Of this funding, $5 million was allocated for expense-based grant relief to help businesses and nonprofits with significant expenses related to COVID impacts. The grant round closed November 26, 2021 and the appeals process has concluded.
New Business Recovery Grants
This program provides one-time funding to support survival and recovery for new businesses and entrepreneurs who were unable to qualify for other programs due to the timing of their business start or acquisition. This program will award up to $5 Million total grants in FY22 and an additional $1 Million in FY23.
New Business Recovery Technical Assistance
This program supports organizations to provide technical assistance to new businesses and entrepreneurs in their recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Diversity Technical Assistance Grants
This program will provide one-time funding for technical assistance grants to support business diversity initiatives.
Underrepresented Entrepreneurs Training
This program will provide one-time funding for entrepreneurial training for underrepresented populations.
Domestic Trade Grants
The Office of Business Development in the Department of Economic and Community Development, will provide one-time funding to support grants and contracts for project partners for state trade promotion opportunities for companies in the State. For more information on this program, contact the Office of Business Development at BizAwards.DECD@maine.gov.
Forest Products Industry Grants (Maine Technology Institute)
Governor Janet Mills announced in March 2022 that 224 Maine forestry companies, the vast majority of them with ten employees or less, will receive a total of $6 million in initial grants from the Forest Recovery Initiative of her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan. The grant awards, which are administered by the Maine Technology Institute, will support Maine’s forest products industry and the people it employs and create and sustain jobs in rural Maine.
The Governor and MTI will also start another round of grants through the program this spring. These subsequent grants will aim to improve market opportunities for Maine timber, which has suffered serious declines due to market disruptions from the pandemic, as well as support forward-looking forestry projects that address new market demands, provide new sustainable products, or otherwise advance the long-term stability of the forestry industry. Funds may also support infrastructure upgrades that strengthen the supply chain and help businesses pivot to new products and markets.
This next round of Forestry Recovery Initiative grants will have $4 million in funds available. The remaining $10 million of the total $20 million for the Forest Recovery Initiative will be awarded in future phases starting later this year.
The design of the Forestry Recovery Initiative was the result of community and stakeholder engagement, including meetings with industry members to explore the impact of the pandemic and to discuss the types of support needed.
For further information about MTI’s Forestry Recovery Initiative, visit the MTI website: https://www.mainetechnology.org/recovery-funding/forestry/
State Small Business Credit Initiative
Funds for small businesses as part of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (under America Rescue Plan) will not be available until 2022. Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) will be administering this program.
Credit for Energy Costs
This program will provide direct credits to qualifying Maine small businesses to help defray increased electricity costs. This funding will provide direct relief through framework established in bipartisan legislation recently passed by the legislature and signed by governor Mills, LD 2010, Resolve, To Help Certain Businesses with Energy Costs. The Department of Economic and Community Development will provide a credit, amount based on usage, for medium commercial customers of Maine's investor-owned utilities (CMP and Versant). The credit will be based on the February 2022 invoice, when energy prices significantly increased. The Department is evaluating further assistance for customers of consumer-owned utilities. The credit will be applied directly to commercial customers' accounts through the utilities; no action by a qualifying business is necessary. Details on when the credit will be applied will be announced at a later date.
- FUNDS FOR MAINE TOWNS AND CITIES
The State of Maine has a fiscal recovery program to distribute $119.2 million in Federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) to local governments across Maine. The Local Fiscal Recovery Program is a State pathway to infuse Federal funds into Maine towns and cities to support a variety of their economic recovery priorities, such as addressing the economic or public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, replacing lost public sector revenue, or investing in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure. To access the grant portal, use this link:
- GRANTS FROM OTHER STATE AGENCIES
Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
Agricultural Infrastructure Investment Program - https://www.maine.gov/dacf/ard/grants/agricultural-infrastructure-investment-program.shtml
Department of Labor
Maine Apprenticeship Program Expansion - https://www.maine.gov/labor/jobs_training/apprenticeship/
Department of Marine Resources
Maine Seafood Dealer and Processor COVID-19 Response and Resilience Grant Program - https://www.maine.gov/jobsplan/program/maine-seafood-dealer-and-processor-covid-19-response-and-resilience-grant-program
Department of Health and Human Services
Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program - https://www.maine.gov/jobsplan/program/child-care-infrastructure-grant-program
Department of Professional and Financial Regulation
Small Business Health Insurance Premium Relief Program - https://www.maine.gov/jobsplan/program/small-business-health-insurance-premium-relief-program
Department of Transportation
Maine Infrastructure Adaptation Fund - https://www.maine.gov/mdot/grants/mjrp/
Maine Public Utilities Commission / Efficiency Maine
Custom Electrical Efficiency Projects - https://www.efficiencymaine.com/docs/PON-EM-001-2022_v1.pdf
Custom Distributed Generation Projects - https://www.efficiencymaine.com/docs/PON-EM-003-2022_v1.pdf
Custom Thermal Efficiency Projects - https://www.efficiencymaine.com/docs/PON-EM-002-2022_v1.pdf
Hospitality Retrofits for heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), lighting and refrigeration projects - https//www.efficiencymaine.com/at-work/hospitality-retrofits-fon/
Governor's Energy Office
Clean Energy Partnership - Innovation Initiative - https://www.maine.gov/jobsplan/program/clean-energy-partnership-innovation-initiative
- FEDERAL GRANTS
- American Rescue Plan Programs: https://eda.gov/arpa/
- Build Back Better Regional Challenge Grant: https://eda.gov/arpa/build-back-better/
- Economic Adjustment Assistance Grants: https://eda.gov/arpa/economic-adjustment-assistance/
- Good Jobs Challenge: https://eda.gov/arpa/good-jobs-challenge/
- Indigenous Communities: https://eda.gov/arpa/indigenous/
- Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation: https://eda.gov/arpa/travel-tourism/
- State Planning, Research & Networks: https://eda.gov/arpa/planning-grants/
U.S. Small Business Administration
- If you’re confused about which SBA programs might work for you, here is a helpful chart: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/cross-program-eligibility-sba-covid-19-relief-options
- Paycheck Protection Program. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program
- COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/eidl
- SBA Debt Relief. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/sba-debt-relief
- Drought-Relief Loans for Small Businesses. Eligible businesses may apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) of up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.88 percent for small businesses and 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.
Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Eligible entities must submit completed loan applications to the SBA no later than April 13, 2022.
United States Department of Agriculture
- USDA Rural Development American Rescue Plan: https://www.usda.gov/arp
- USDA Build Back Better Program: https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2021/06/08/usda-invest-more-4-billion-strengthen-food-system
- Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR) Grant Program: https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2021/09/07/usda-invests-700-million-grants-provide-relief-farm-and-food
- Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/business-programs/meat-and-poultry-processing-expansion-program
Agricultural Marketing Service
- Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grants: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/mpirg
- USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations Program: https://www.fs.usda.gov/science-technology/energy-forest-products/wood-innovation
WE WELCOME YOUR FEEDBACK
If you have any questions about economic recovery resources, please email BizAwards.DECD@maine.gov.
Need business assistance, help navigating resources, or other business help? Email Business.Answers@maine.gov.
Want to talk with someone about your questions? Please call Business Answers at 1-800-872-3838.